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About Susan Parrish

I was born and raised in the musically rich environment of the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, playing the clarinet in the symphonic orchestra, the concert and marching bands throughout high school. I started formal piano lessons in the 10th grade and went on to receive a BA in Music, Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota. In 1981, I was accepted as a piano student of Karl Ulrich Schnabel and moved to New York City to continue my studies.

Early in college, I discovered the joy and rewards of teaching while working as a teacher’s aide in an elementary school. A passion was born and I began teaching piano privately in 1976. Following that passion, I completed a MA in Education with a Teaching Credential, and a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum Design from Teachers College, Columbia University. I taught music theory, history and orchestra at the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in NYC, and then beginning strings and chorus in the elementary and middle schools of Stamford and Wilton, Connecticut.

I am an active member of the Santa Cruz County Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California and the California Association of Professional Music Teachers. My students participate in the The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program, the MTAC Certificate of Merit Program, and have won scholarships in the Talent Bank Awards Festival.

About ten years ago, I discovered the joy of singing and have performed with the local vocal groups Full Spectrum, Ariose and the Windham Singers. I also performed with the Cabrillo Music Festival in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” (1999), and Aaron Copland’s “Tenderland” (2000), study voice with Kathleen Kasdorf. I have performed in many piano ensemble concerts including the local Celebrate Piano Ensemble concerts at UCSC.

In addition to teaching piano, I teach an online Fundamentals of Music (MUS 6) at Cabrillo College at Cabrillo College. This online music theory class introduces students to the notation of pitch and rhythm, the construction of scales, key signatures, intervals, and chords. Students who successfully complete this class are able to begin or continue their musical studies on different instruments.